Separation Anxiety
Disorder

Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is characterized by an intense and persistent fear of being away from a family member or close person - usually a parent. It is developmentally normal for infants and children to experience separation anxiety and it is usually outgrown by age 3. However, if the anxiety is intense and interferes with daily life activities, it usually indicates SAD. This reaction can occur in teens and adults, but it is far less common.

Additional Symptoms

  • intense anxiety and distress that occurs in anticipation of having a caregiver leave or being away from a caregiver

  • panic attacks

  • fears that something bad will happen to a caregiver when they are away

  • refusal to leave home 

  • frequent reassurance-seeking that everyone is going to be okay and nothing bad will happen

  • frequent check-ins while away from a caregiver

  • cell phone tracking for reassurance